How did we miss 2020's new Jewish sports star? Can we blame COVID? After all, it flipped the world of sport on its head, throwing it into a loop of postponements, reshufflings, cancellations, and previously-unheard-of bubbles.
Here, finally, is a profile of Sofia Kenin, another in a long line of Russian-born, American-trained tennis stars. Unlike many who came before her, Kenin represents the US internationally; she wasn't just trained, she was actually raised here. Sofia is a child of a Jewish father and a half Jewish mother, so we can safely add her to the list of Jewish tennis greats.
In fact, her 2020 alone might put Sofia at the top of the list. She made two Grand Slam finals, losing the French but winning the Australian, and finished the year ranked #4 in the world. In fact, she is not only the first Jewish woman to ever win the Australian singles title, she is the third Jewish woman to win an individual Grand Slam tournament, period. (Helen Jacobs won four US Opens and one Wimbledon in the 1930s; Zsuzsa Kormoczy won the French in 1958.)
An astute reader might point out that Kenin's Australian title came in February, so we really shouldn't be using COVID as an excuse for not profiling her until now...
Alright, fine. This one is on us.